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tv   News 7 at 6  CBS  January 26, 2016 6:00pm-6:30pm EST

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i'm jean jadhon and i'm chris hurst it's a case capturing attention in bedford: a young boy suffocated by his own mother. today the child's father was in court to answer for his role in the crime. wdbj7's tim saunders is live in bedford to tell us what happened. chris we should start by pointing out that prosecutors do not believe michael smith had anything to do with the murder of his son, jordan. it's the actions he took immediately after the child's death that led him to get a four-year prison sentence today. michael smith has been in jail since the day his son jordan died. he's never had the opportunity to visit the child's grave, but he's kept a picture of the burial site in his cell. michael smith: "i cry every day looking at it, seeing his name and the big letters 'daddy loves you'." prosecutors say smith was home the day his son was killed, but was
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smith's wife, shana witt, was convicted in august of suffocating the boy with a stuffed animal. when she returned to her bedroom to tell smith what she had done, the two had sex and smith later fixed lunch. during that time smith says he never checked on his son. smith: "i thought she was lying to me that morning." randy krantz: "you didn't believe her?" smith: "no." when smith finally realized his son was dead, he still didn't call for help. instead he says his wife insisted he clean up her meth lab. he then called 9-1-1 and told dispatchers that his son had just stopped breathing when in fact the child had been dead for hours. after being arrested prosecutors say smith fully cooperated in building a case against his wife, who received 52 years in prison for murdering her son. while smith wasn't involved in the murder, he received a four-year sentence tuesday on drug and child abuse charges. randy krantz: "we did feel very strongly that mr. smith should be held accountable for his level of wrongdoing. that was not necessarily the same level of
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witt, who we believe was primarily death of her son based upon her own admissions." served half his sentence and should two years. at that point he says with his father's auto repair business. live in bedford, tim saunders, wdbj7. snowoutside right now some of you are seen a few rain sprinkles but most of your staying fairly dry was a very very cloudy day and a very warm one as it turned out in parts of southside in southeastern virginia we do continue to see very very light rain streaks showing up on the first alert doppler ritter will put it in the motion quite clearly this is a cold front on the move the rain is moving from the southwest of the north east
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a little bit colder at some higherelevations. it could be a little mixing going on with some of frozen precipitation late tonight or early tomorrow that hangs on that long right now just a few 100 skier and they're mostly attentive that a proposed wind farm. saunders is there now with a preview of tonight's board of supervisors meeting. botetourt county board of supervisors hold a public meeting to discuss the future of a proposed windfarm project. if the project passes, the developer apex clean energy will build 25 wind turbines on north mountain. rockbridge county board supervisors is asking botetourt to delay a zoning application for the project for 90 days until they learn more about it. tonight, we'll learn if that windfarm will be built sooner than later. i'm noell saunders and i'll have that story at 10 on my19 and 11
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a post on social media has people outraged and is leading to threats against a school in galax. but wdbj7's eamon o'meara learned, maybe the anger is toward the wrong person? an image that has gone viral on facebook mocking those with ptsd is causing problems for the chestnut creek school of arts. the school, which is open to all ages, is run by the city of galax. (keith barker, galax city manager) we've also received a number of phone calls from individuals leaving messages and have received, actually, threatening phone calls which we've turned over to the galax police department who are investigating the case right now. the person whose page the image was published on is affiliated with the school. (christina pollins, executive director, chestnut creek school of the arts) we hire our teachers as contract employees. the person in question is a contract employee for the purpose of teaching only. the image may not have been posted by this teacher. it may have been posted by someone who hacked his account. (keith barker, galax city manager) that is what he is at this point saying is that it was a retalitory
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against him by another individual who posted this to his page and he has in turn reported it to facebook, has removed it, and has in turn tried to make his page quite a bit more secure than it was. (stand up) one of the hardest parts for both the school is that this post attacks veterans, which both say they try to support as much as they can. (keith barker, galax city manager) we are in full support of our veterans locally . and to see a meme like this on facebook, on social media, is just really discouraging and it does not honor any of these individuals and what they've done for ourselves and our country. because of the threats, the school closed tuesday. (christina pollins, executive director, chestnut creek school of the arts) that there would be any question that we would in anyway condone or support anything so awful is unthinkable. plus it's a threat, so you're a human and it's frightening. reporting in galax eamon o'meara wdbj7. liberty university president jerry falwell junior is endorsing donald trump for president. trump quickly
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falwell's support today, writing quote - "one of the most respected religious leaders in our nation has just endorsed me." it's a blow to the gop front-runner's biggest challenger, texas senator ted cruz. cruz launched his campaign from liberty last spring. after only 10 months of campaigning, democrat ericke cage has suspended his race for congress in the fifth district. we sat down with cage today who says it was an uphill battle to find enough funding to support his campaign and they fell short. despite his best efforts, cage says he was not able to attract the attention he was looking for from high dollar donors. cage says he will continue to work toward the values he held during his campaign including high quality education, economic prosperity and equal opportunity in rural virginia. ericke cage, former 5th district democratic candidate cancel's campaign, " obviously we would have loved to have continued the race, but i feel like we gave it our best shot. it didnt' work out but that doesn't mean that we are not successful in raising attention to the very
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cage says he plans on taking some some time off and hopes to get back into the education field. he says come election time, he will support the democratic nominee. the president at ferrum college announced today she plans to retire. jennifer braaten was the tenth president at the college and the first woman to take this position at the school. she started at ferrum college fourteen years ago in 2002 and plans to retire this summer. her reason stems from serious health issues within her family. jennifer braaten "i love my professional life, it's been wonderful to be at ferrum college with i still think a priority is things we always talk about--faith, family and friends for me to spend more during braaten's time at the school, enrollment increased academic programs were enhanced. a search committee is being formed to look for her replacement. december set december was the 21st consecutive month of year-over-
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growth in the commonwealth. also last month, the governor's office says virginia had the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among the southeast fourth-best rate among states east of the mississippi river. we told you about last night at 11. the owner of stefano's on the market tells wdbj 7 it was just time to close- he says the decision had nothing to do with negative club he operated there. for it's homemade pastas- received national attention when its chef won a television cooking competition. the president of downtown roanoke incorporated thinks there will be a lot of interest in the building. tina workman/president of downtown roanoke inc.: i think it's a gorgeous space. it is a large square footage. i'm not sure what the square footage is. but it's beautifully positioned to be a retail or a restaurant right there. workman pointed out that stefano's is in a high-traffic area next to a recently renovated public space. she hopes to see retail in this location.
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smith mountain lake is known as a summer destination, so tonight we take a look at how
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afloat in the winter. state senate. she was honored at the capitol for her success as executive director of the smith mountain lake chamber of commerce. gardner says she just returned to work part time this week and is "feeling good." she was shot in august while she was interviewed on wdbj7 mornin with alison parker. alison and photographer adam ward were killed. she said being recognized by lawmakers was an incredible honor.
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a business open all year round in a town known as a summer destination. wdbj7's amanda kenney went to smith mountain lake today. amanda, how are businesses there holding up in the winter? chris, when i first asked a small business owner how she's keeping her shop open, she said prayers. i'm told it's challenging, and this snow doesn't help. but if you can get creative, local businesses can survive. the sound of a laser isn't exactly what you would expect to hear in a general store. but it's what's helping vicki seekford's business at smith mountain lake stay open in the winter vicki: our traffic really does slow down in the winter so we're challenged to come up with ideas and incentives to get people in the door this laser engraver has helped sales during the holidays. it brings people inside to see what else general store has to offer. like the quilt shack. it's another element to seekford's business that brings in new customers
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there has been some small businesses here, especially at the lake who have come and gone because it is extremely difficult to keep coming up with great ideas next door, cj's coffee and sandwhich shop knows how difficult it can be. they may be busy today, but recently their second location at bridgewater plaza closed after only being open a few months. today cj's customers just happen to be small business owners too. they own art visions which just moved to a new location on smith mountain lake. the group of local artists are always looking for ways to attract customers to their art. nancy: we've been trying paint parties and instead of doing them at night we've been doing them in the mornings which has been successful. brett: a lot of the hobby businesses don't necessarily make it, a lot people don't realize what it takes to be a small business in a very small commnity and not trying to take anything away from those who don't make it, it's just a though think, you really gotta be in it
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. brett keister owns vitazen. over the past eleven years his vitamin store has evolved into so much more. pet food was something we originally brought in as a way to bring more people into the store and it's grown into a pretty big segment of our sales. keister even added a yoga studio to help bring in money. so it seems the key to keeping business open all year round, is to get creative. we have brainstorming about once a month to try to see what we can do to get people in the door and keep our lights on during the winter so if some of these businesses don't get creative or become jack of all trades, their only other option is to either cut back hours during the winter or just shut down. but the owners i spoke with tell me that's not something they want to do, not only for their customers but for their employees. amanda kenney, wdbj7. plenty of snow melt today and it gets even warmer later this week. here is a look at the highs, lows and
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regional airports. we are back with the complete first alert forecast after this
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airportsthere are times when claytor lake state park and put on the show jack graph of
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morning first thing with lots of rat on the lake rad on the lake house in order shut jack pritchard you sure now on with this is the day went on it was mostly just a cloudy affair you can see over toward big island it was mid-level cloudiness and snow on the background and that's about it not a lot of sunshine you're elisa temperatures were fairly calm people overall as you take a peek it was going on at bedford middle school right now are we're looking at 48 dewpoint temperatures are in the mid thirties when drive us out of that is a snow eater for sure and then something like to continue out for a couple more days fifteen demo right now forty seven martinsville would look at a 45 galax and bluefield after that was interesting day because from danville to the esa was a whole lot more sunshine temperatures jump to the west a lot more cloud coverage and the temperatures held back just a little bit our emotion right now and you can see that but really the heavier showers to the south they seem to be falling apart a little bit physically closer
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boundary is so stretching from western new york all the way down to new orleans and it's not particularly fast movements, hung here for little while letting the showers along the track of the front while they're on the front side and cooler air on the backside in that cold air is really to stay west for the most part i we get so battlelines drawn here and that's what you seen the rain showers but real estate milder overall over the next couple days tonight not all that cold mid thirties upper thirties low morning fog might also be an issue as well as a temperature and dew points come together and create lower visibility's forecast model for tuesday showing that in the evening hours we are partly cloudy and we slide forward toward wednesday we can see little bit of a break. there a tube that looks pretty good and again the temperatures of the pretty tolerable. this is the thirty six to forty four degree range the rosita marley may have an early day shower otherwise can
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topping out at around 44 strick seven shall we go from clouds some morning sprinkles to mostly sunny skies on thursday a look at the friday shows us topping out at about forty two the morning lows are in the twenties saturday sunday nobody gets much better than that really a mix of sun and clouds temperatures in the low to the mid fifties for highs o virginia cavaliers are in winston-salem looking for a road win against wake forest. zac glover checks in from lawrence joel coliseum next as the cavs try to change their fortunes away from charlottesville. "a dinosaur attraction is returning to southwest virginia. i'm khiree stewart in natural briage and tonight at 11, hear when this attraction will open
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the area." been great at home over the course of the season and not quite as good on the road. zac glover is in winston-salem, north carolina where the hoos face wake forest just after 7 tonight. zac glover: while the virginia cavaliers have won 30 of their last 31 games at john paul jones arena in charlottes ville, the road has been a completely different story. all four of the cavs losses have come on the road, including an 0-3 mark in acc games on the road. so when they take on wake forest tonight, on the road, the cavs might be the favored team to get the win, but a win is certainly not a lock. anthony gill/virginia forward: they have
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guys back from last year so they are a really talented team. i know they have really good big men. mitoglu and devin thomas. they have really good guards that we match up with well. london perrantes/ virginia point guard: these are the games where we need to find our way. we've got to keep doing what we are doing, keep pushing, keep chipping and keep playing defense and obviously keep playing good offense but these games are where we find out what we can do so we can make a deep run in march. zac: so the wahoos will tip it off with the demon deacons tonight at 7'o'clock. we'll of course have all of your highlights and postgame reaction coming up tonight at eleven. in winston-salem, north carolina, zac glover, wdbj7. virginia tech and virginia football fans can start to make their tailgating plans for the fall with the release of the acc schedule earlier today. it's a challenging slate for the hokies in coach justin fuente's first season, which includes liberty in the season opener on september 3rd followed by the tennessee game at the bristol motor speedway. the hokies are on the road for three of their four games in october. the only home game is a
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against miami on the 20th and they'll finish out the month a week later at pitt. tech will finish the season with a trip to south bend to face notre dame, while virginia comes to blacksburg for the traditional thanksgiving weekend finale. as for the cavaliers, bronco mendenhall's debut as coach will come against richmond on september 3rd. the cavs also have early season trips to oregon and connecticut. they'll open acc play on october 1st at duke and follow that up with three straight conference home games. miami will be the only home game for uva in the final month of the season. former virginia tech assistant coach bryan stinespring has landed on his feet in harrisonburg. stinespring is joining the staff of new jmu head coach mike houston. he is a 1986 jmu grad who spent the past 16 years in blacksburg. stinespring was the hokies' offensive coordinator for 10 years and most recently served as tech's tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator over the past three seasons. the nascar season is set to get underway in just a few weeks with the running of the daytona 500. it will be the first race in the final season for tony stewart who will retire from full time
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2016. tony stewart/ retiring at the end of the season: i'm still gonna race, i just don't know how much yet. obviously, with four cup teams we're gonna be busy and our track at eldora speedway we're gonna be busy, and with the all star circuit of champions we're gonna be busy so i still have plenty of projects to keep me occupied. this will be 18 years that i've not had flexibility to do anything other than what nascar told us we needed to do so it's gonna be nice to have some flexibility in the schedule to do some other things when i want to do them but i still plan on being at the cup track as much as possible. a rally in oil prices and stronger earnings reports led to a positive finish on wall street. the dow gained 282 points.
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webpage at and be sure to follow us on facebook and twitter for weather headlines and more at wdbj7weather. thank you for choosing your hometown news
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